Friday, March 2, 2012

Firewater Friday - Happy hour is a nice gesture not a challenge

On my way home from work the other the day I saw a sandwich board outside a local bar advertising “Happy Hour”.  I couldn’t help but notice that the hour was actually hours . . . from 4 to 7.  I guess that bar operates in some sort of time warp or some other such spatial anomaly.

While I was pondering the possible effects on humans of the disruption of the space/time continuum in this particular drinking establishment, my thoughts wandered to speculate as to the origins of happy hour (or hours).

Surprisingly . . . or maybe not so much . . . I discovered that happy hour began as a naval thing.  In the 1920’s stressed out, overworked sailors had time set aside to blow off pent up energy.  Often by participating in or spectating at a boxing match and . . . of course . . . knocking back a few brews.  This became known as their happy hour.

Back on land . . . no one is going to tell Americans they can’t have a martini (or three) before dinner.  So with the enactment of the Volstead Act . . . you know, prohibition  . . . happy hour came to be the hour before dinnertime where in the secretive speak-easies folks would imbibe a cocktail (or three) before partaking their evening meal.

At least nowadays we don’t have to sneak around or risk incarceration to unwind after a busy day; unless you live in Massachusetts where there is an outright ban on happy hours.  In this nanny state . . . or one of the 26 other United States that have similar laws in place . . . the public saw happy hours as a threat to increase drunken driving because of the low priced drinks being offered early in the day.

On a side note . . . Ireland and Scotland have comparable regulations.  No cheap drinks for our mates across the pond either.


Weerd's Cobalt Martini

A seriously good concoction!!

1/2 Measure of Lillet Blanc
1 Measure of Blue Curacao
and 3 Measures of Gin. 

Use Good gin, but there are a lot of flavors at work here, so you don’t need your best gin, Beefeater is 100% acceptable.

Garnish with Preserved Lemon (recipe as follows)

Quick Preserved Lemons

Preserving lemons typically takes 4 to 6 weeks to acquire the right consistency and flavor. However, this quick method bypasses the lengthy preservation time and is a great substitute for the real thing. Use the rind to accent a variety of dishes, from seafood to vegetable stir-fries  . . . or as an awesome martini garnish

1 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
2 Lemons, Washed And Quartered

Combine water and salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.  Add lemons; cook 30 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup and lemon rind is tender.  Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

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